“Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy” by John le Carré

As the later “A Most Wanted Man”, a slow-burning ascent, but different, and superior, in its significantly bathetic climax. There’s no real surprise when we see the traitor with Polyakov (a point made tellingly in the recent film), and the more we think about the book the more we realise that it’s not a story about spies, but a story about personal betrayal, national betrayal merely a foil to the personal.

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